Friday, November 20, 2009

yo-yo #70: "throw today. throw forever."

i carved this yo-yo last week. it's just an ordinary no jive that i cut up with a benchmade model 42s. i'm just getting to know it. i like it. a lot. that's all i got for this yo-yo... however, here's something else. some of them, i'm still working on, and will be until i die.

66 rules for yo-yo players.

1. learn to loop. with two hands.

2. when you play yo-yo in public, look up. be aware of your surroundings. say hi to the people who look at you in wonder. say hi to those who look at you with disdain.

3. be generous with your time, and with your toys. if you have the means, at every event you attend, give something away to someone (who does not ask).

4. understand the differences between yo-yoing for yourself in your room, yo-yoing for judges at a contest, and yo-yoing for a small child at the park.

5. try to find and play yo-yo's that come from every decade of the past century. appreciate their differences (and similarities).

6. when performing for an audience, always look better than they do.

7. be proud you're a yo-yo player. have pity for those who think you shouldn't be.

8. never act like yo-yoing is a big inconvenience. no one's making you do it.

9. be prepared to walk the dog on command. always.

10. never blame the judges. maintain the attitude that, if you had REALLY won, it wouldn't have been up to them at all.

11. hit a true laceration on a stock renegade. fly-away dismount.

12. don't talk about how 'so-and-so' is a lousy player (or human being) if you're unwilling to bring it to them personally.

13. don't confront someone about being a lousy player (or human being) unless you're right. and be sure you understand the consequences.

14. when you're getting paid to yo-yo, be on time and do your job with a smile.

15. don't yo-yo with the goal of being admired. don't worry over whether you're 'somebody in the yo-yo community'. be 'somebody in real life' and then be the same person in the yo-yo community.

16. recognize that you don't really know very many tricks at all. this should make you feel inspired rather than pathetic.

17. find a mentor. or twelve. no need to be explicit about it, but they should know who they are and what they mean to you.

18. stay up all night playing yo-yo.

19. compete. ladder, freestyles, best trick, or whatever. register, pay, and support the contest.

20. carry a paperclip in your wallet.

21. don't accept sponsorship from a company you don't absolutely love.

22. carve a palm tree on a yo-yo using a pocketknife.

23. understand how your yo-yo's work. be able to maintain them.

24. never begrudge your dings. not in yo-yo. not in life.

25. respect the venue.

26. meet the masters (national or otherwise). shake their hands and thank them for making yo-yoing something more. make that YOUR goal.

27. take care of your hands, wrists, body, and mind. when those things fail, so will your yo-yoing.

28. don't go out of your way to vilify this or that company. support the ones that you feel benefit the community and yo-yoing in general. that's enough.

29. travel to a contest alone.

30. travel to a contest in an overfull car.

31. respect your elders.

32. don't fiddle obsessively with your bearings. they'll do their job if you let them.

33. it's one thing to be awed, but don't be intimidated by yo-yo players, regardless of their skill.

34. learn to snap-start.

35. find a yo-yo that you can't play well at all. play it exclusively for a month.

36. go to worlds.

37. be able to do enough of each style to wow the uninitiated.

38. do something else. take up an instrument. knit. do card tricks. shoot skeet. something.

39. make yourself useful at contests. help set up. help clean up.

40. don't be careless with other peoples' yo-yo's. don't be overprotective of yours.

41. own an old wood yo-yo.

42. if you bring a bunch of yo-yo's somewhere, it will be understood that you want people to see them and be impressed. don't be surprised when they aren't.

43. pass out on a yo-yoer's floor in delighted exhaustion.

44. learn all you can about every major player from every era of yo-yoing's history. this art is FULL of fascinating characters.

45. be neither proud nor ashamed of your collection.

46. don't seek to be someone else's favorite player. seek to be your own favorite player. and in that regard, NEVER succeed.

47. don't leave home without it.

48. learn to twist your own string.

49. play responsive, but don't act like it's a big deal.

50. practice more. post less.

51. develop yourself such that someday, if you should find yourself in a room surrounded by your heroes, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that you belong.

52. invent a trick. hell, invent so many tricks that finding a way to record them becomes a necessity.

53. don't hide behind the mantle of an 'online persona'. that has zero to do with being a yo-yoer.

54. run a contest or event. make it a benefit to the companies that are willing to sponsor it. make it a benefit to the players who come and spend their day.

55. don't use the word 'sexy' to describe a yo-yo. or 'sexay'. or 'secksay'. or 'pure sex'. or 'smexy'. to do so makes you sound as if you have no real context for the word 'sexy'.

56. make a video. before you publish or hype it, make certain that it's something that you would want to watch all the way through, even if the yo-yoer were some random guy you've never met.

57. yo-yo transcends gender, and yet the vast majority of yo-yoers are male. respect and appreciate the few girls and women brave enough to wade through all the smelly aggro testosterone to do their thing.

58. find a globe. locate 'the other side of the world'. befriend a yo-yo player from there (or as close as you can manage).

59. at one point, you were just starting out. whether it was last week or 50 years ago, remember that time. treat those who are learning the basics with care. answer their questions, help them with string tension, and don't act like they need to get in line to kiss your boot.

60. acquire a yo-yo from shinobu, eric wolff, or john higby.

61. always have a spare string on you.

62. have more than one gear. go fast when it's time to go fast. go slow when it's time to go slow. understand when it's appropriate to play simply and when it's best to be strange and complicated.

63. don't set too much store by contest results. at their MOST valid, they give an idea of who played the best for three minutes, on one given day. respect everyone who can get up there with poise and intent.

64. disregard these rules. make your own rules. and make allowances for those who won't play or live by them.

65. treat every throw as if it's your last. (throw today.)

66. treat every throw as if it's your first. (throw forever.) the two are not actually contradictory.


Waylon Crase said...


Adam said...

wicked Ed, I'm gonna print this out and put it on my wall at work... for those rare moments that I'm not standing at my desk throwing.

you rule.

Jeremy Levine said...

This is what makes you the man.

Glenn Godsey said...

Rule 66?

Glenn Godsey said...

Oops. I miscounted. As you were.

Kahli said...

Nice list, but rule 57 is my favourite.

Ed you are truly a gentleman.

BABBYlonian said...

20. carry a paperclip in your wallet.


BABBYlonian said...

that's a nice looking Balisong(butterfly knife) anyway.

BABBYlonian said...

*by the way

Anonymous said...

Toys have rules now?

Anonymous said...

55. don't use the word 'sexy' to describe a yo-yo. or 'sexay'. or 'secksay'. or 'pure sex'. or 'smexy'. to do so makes you sound as if you have no real context for the word 'sexy'.

Sorry Ed, but i beg to differ.

Main Entry: sexy
Pronunciation: \ˈsek-sē\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): sex·i·er; sex·i·est
Date: 1925
1 : sexually suggestive or stimulating : erotic
2 : generally attractive or interesting : appealing

sex⋅y  [sek-see]
–adjective, sex⋅i⋅er, sex⋅i⋅est.
1. concerned predominantly or excessively with sex; risqué: a sexy novel.
2. sexually interesting or exciting; radiating sexuality: the sexiest professor on campus.
3. excitingly appealing; glamorous: a sexy new car.

Beyond my nitpickiness, a good read indeed.

Anonymous said...

What about? 67. Street preform at least one time

Anonymous said...

great ...........................................................

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

BK said...

BABBYlonian, rule #20 carry a paperclip... because you need an implement to undo a knot around the axle without taking apart the yoyo, of course! :)

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blaine said...

printing it out and putting it in my wallet held by said paperclip

David said...

"62. have more than one gear. go fast when it's time to go fast. go slow when it's time to go slow."

I've been trying to teach people this for years.

Thanks for taking the time to make this list. The vast majority of these rules are applicable to everyone, regardless of vocation.

Time to print this out for my 9 year old.

Thanks again.

carl said...

i think ill print it out :)